Editorial: Joshi, A Seasoned Sainik

Editorial: Joshi, A Seasoned Sainik

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Friday, February 23, 2024, 09:44 PM IST
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Former Maharashtra CM Manohar Joshi | File pic

In the passing of Manohar Joshi, Maharashtra bids farewell to a political stalwart whose journey from a newcomer in Mumbai to the first non-Congress Chief Minister is a testament to his determination and political acumen. Arriving in Mumbai in pursuit of opportunities, he recognised the demand for skilled technical staff and addressed it by establishing an institute to train workers, challenging the large influx of job-seekers from the South, especially Kerala. His foray into municipal politics marked the beginning of a remarkable political career. Ascending from municipal councillor to MLC, MLA, Mayor of Mumbai, and, ultimately, Maharashtra's Chief Minister, Joshi's rise exemplified his grasp of political dynamics. However, his downfall due to nepotism revealed the challenges inherent in the political landscape. Undeterred, he transitioned to national politics, becoming the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and securing a term in the Rajya Sabha following an electoral setback.

Joshi's unwavering loyalty to the Shiv Sena supremo, the late Bal Thackeray, defined his political identity. Benefiting from the party's alliance with the BJP, he attained positions that might have eluded him otherwise. The current factional divide within the Shiv Sena underscores the shifting political landscape, a contrast to the discipline and loyalty emphasised during Joshi's time. While his career faced a stain with the controversy over illegally allotted land, Joshi remained a true Shiv Sainik. His resilience in the face of challenges, including the findings of the Srikrishna Commission, which went into the post-Babri Masjid demolition riots, reflected his commitment to the party's ideals as understood by him. In Joshi’s demise, Maharashtra has lost a seasoned Shiv Sainik, a figure emblematic of an era defined by loyalty and disciplined politics. His legacy, a blend of triumphs and challenges, leaves an indelible mark on the state's political history.

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